God With Us

December 4, 2017

Today would have been our 13th Wedding Anniversary. We were only given eleven together on this earth, but we packed a lifetime of love into that decade plus one. It is true that the anniversaries without him bring tears to my eyes and a clench to my heart, but there are happy and grateful tears mixed in with the sad ones.

There was just a knock at the door. I opened it to find a delivery person with a beautiful bouquet of a dozen red roses (which was our wedding flower). The card reads “You will always be loved.” This is the second year I’ve received this. If I wasn’t crying before, I am now.


I don’t know who sent these. My mind goes over the possibilities. And as I wonder who, more tears flow, because it could be one of so many people that love me. I am blessed. I AM loved. I am supported. In grief, it doesn’t always feel like that. Sadness can whisper lies and tell you you’re all alone. It can convince you no one cares. I have proof this isn’t true.

Because I don’t know who sent this gift to me…and it IS a beautiful, loving gift, sometimes I imagine my husband arranged for this before he died. That somehow I’d always receive a bouquet of roses on our anniversary. This isn’t likely, but I like to imagine it. It is something he would’ve done, but the logistics of that idea don’t really pan out.

In any case, I’m thankful for the anonymous gift of love. Today is a hard day as I reflect on how much love we had for each other. I remember how he made me feel, how excited we were on our wedding day and how amazing our life together was. I miss all of that so much.

I’m guessing whoever sent this gift, probably reads my posts. So, whoever you are…THANK YOU. Thank you for your generosity, your love and support. I thank God for you just as I thank Him for the love He sent me through my husband. I am so thankful to have been Mark’s wife. What an honor and gift it was.

I know a lot of you weren’t with me last year at this time, so I’m going to point you to the posts I wrote about our love story. It’s a 4-part series. I’m going to be reading it again today too. I love our love story. It was an amazing story written by God. It too reminds me I’m not alone. Immanuel….God with us.

Isaiah 7:14New International Version (NIV)

 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and[c] will call him Immanuel. 

 I love that our wedding was during Advent. It’s a perfect reminder of the perfect love. It’s evidence that we’re not alone. God sent His son, wrapped in light, born in a manger…for you and me! It’s the beginning of the best love story ever.

Prologue to our Love Story

Our Love Story – Part 1

Our Love Story – Part 2

Our Love Story – Part 3

Well, this has been a 3-tissue post. Thanks for being with me on a tough day. Thanks for celebrating the love we had with me. And thank you for the gifts you all bring to me. Encouraging words, understanding, validation and support of purpose, and sometimes a perfectly timed gift of a dozen roses. I love each and every one of you. I feel so blessed to have you all – even (and maybe especially) those of you whom I’ve never met. Thank you for living out I Thessalonians 5:14. Thank you for your patience/extra grace. We are not alone.

1 Thessalonians 5:14New International Version (NIV)

And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

Extra Grace,


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  • Reply Donna Lowery December 4, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Hi Jodi, Your blog has been very helpful to me and I pray for you and your family. My husband died last January and we had been married 46 years. I too was a December bride the (12th). I am experiencing my year of firsts. We raised five children and they have been very helpful but I miss him with every inch of my being. Thank you for writing your blog. Sincerely, Donna

  • Reply Karen Underdahl December 4, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Thinking of you as you spend the anniversaries without your beloved! I can’t imagine how hard it is. Know that I think of you so often. It’s also hard without Mark for the holidays! I am sure he is watching over you all. May God bring a sparkle to your days, joy beyond compare and lots of comfort throughout December and the new year!
    Love, Karen and Lynn

  • Reply Karen Drummond December 4, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Jodi -Thank you u for this blog. I read it faithfully. I lost my hubby of 40years and most days feel so lonely. Tonight, one of my neighbors told me “God is with you.” I think I have forgotten that in my sadness. Your love story is beautiful and I will pray for you and your family.

  • Reply Libby Peay December 6, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    What a lovely gesture! I would go ahead and keep thinking they are from your Mark. I’m sure that’s what the gift was meant to be. Our anniversary is Dec. 20, my first alone. I too am not looking forward to it, but thankful for the 37 we had together. Thank you again for your posts. They help so much. Keep on keeping on!

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